GL&SC chronicles ownership of land for new US$300M hotel on Carifesta Ave

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana


A report on Ownership of Lands in Plantation Thomas.

Prepared by the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission in view of recent concerns as to the ownership of Lands along Carifesta Avenue.

Records in the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission indicate that Lots 1 and 2 of Plantation Thomas were held under Transport number 30 of 1863 by the Colony of British Guiana. Colony Lands are lands held before Independence by the Colony of British Guiana. These have since been referred to as Government Lands after 1966. The GLSC issued leases on Colony Lands (CLL category) and continues to issue leases on Government Lands now GLL category. The unique feature is that these lands are held under Transports as against State Lands which are not.

Lot 2 was transferred to one Quintin Hogg vide Transport in 1886.  A portion of land consisting of 15 acres called Non Pareil Park along with two other portions called A and B consisting of 18 and 10 areas respectively were later transferred by Quintin Hogg to the Mayor and Town Council of Georgetown vide Transport Number 337 of 1887. The area basically covered under this Transport extended from Camp Street to Vlissingen Road in an East west Direction and the area immediately south of Queen’s college’s southern boundary, to Cummings Canal in a North South Direction. This block of land was save and except Lot C previously held by J.V Caetano and which was acquired for the construction of Irving Street, the residual being fenced into the Guyana Public Service premises now.

The area retained by Government covered the entire area to the North of the grounds on the Northern side of Woolford Avenue from Camp Street to Vlissingen Road up to the Sea wall (basically from Queens College to the sea wall).

Over the years various surveys were done over all of the Lands for different purposes by both the Town Council and the Government, for instance the land on which the Government Technical Institute was built was acquired by government from the City Council by Order number 27 of 1951 (plan 5678).

The Indian Education Trust College of British Guiana obtained Lease 347 of 1960 from the City Council for 99 years for the area East of GTI. The Tennis Court is the property of the Council. Central High School was surveyed by the Council in 1959 (plan 8921). At no time did the council survey north of Central and Queens College. They basically knew their boundaries back then.

Plan 11057 shows the play grounds North of Woolford Avenue surveyed by the Council in 1964, the Council should be aware if they gave any leases.

The Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission Stock Plan number 12850 highlights all Government Lands in the City and from the extract it can be seen where the red lines are. These are all Government properties except where they were sold. This plan also lists the various agencies and or organizations that once occupied or still occupies some of these lands.

The Government has been issuing leases for many years over the lands held under Transport for the lands government had retained, among several leases the two play grounds on Carifesta Avenue where the new hotel project is to be developed. Permission number C. 434 was issued to the Teacher’s Training Centre in 1947 by the Department of Lands and Mines.

Permission number C. 433 was issued to “Youth Council” in 1947 for the area east of the Teachers Training Centre.

Other portions of lands were leased to Saint Stanislaus College, B.G Boy Scout (now Ministry of Education), East Indian Cricket Club (Everest), Catholic Guild Club (now Marian Academy). Maltenoes Sports Club (expired, now being processed again). Cosmos Sports Club (now being processed for Guyana Motor Racing and Sports Club). Some areas were also given to the Guyana Telecommunication Corporation by vesting orders under the Public Corporations Act, these are now part of GT&T properties.

The only portion of land that the City Council held in the area North of Carifesta Avenue was a dam between GT&T and Saints Stanislaus ground (called Wireless Road). This was leased to a private citizen for commercial purposes by the Council.

The above basically seeks to bring some perspective into the ownership of the lands in the area and from the account given it can be garnered that the City Council does not clearly know what they own. The GLSC has a substantial amount of historic records that shows its control of those lands for well over 100 years, at no time during this period has there been any interference by the Council as to the ownership of the said lands.

A quick check of the amount of land held by the City Council will amount to approximately 43 English Acres which more or less corresponds to the area previously described as being held by the Town council.

Accompanying this report is a number of survey plans, leases etc. that can be very useful in terms of understanding the ownership and boundaries of the said lands.